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Thread: The Big 5 Publishers

  1. #1

    The Big 5 Publishers

    What are the names of the Big 5 NY Publishers and is there a list of all their subsidiaries (aren't those called "imprints?")

    Is it often that a book that is sold to a smaller publishing house becomes a best seller?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    I did see one a few years ago in WRiter's Market. I'll have to see if i still have that magazine at home.

    I think Random House, Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins, Penguin Putnam?
    Toni
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    Teh doommobile, drivin' rite by you mscelina's Avatar
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    Google is your friend. You should try it. It's a heck of a lot quicker to google your question and find out the answers for yourself than to wait for other people to provide you the information.

  4. #4
    Actually, someone has since given me a link to a list of the big publishing houses on Agent Query. http://www.agentquery.com/publishing_mp.aspx

    They also have a list of smaller independent publishers. http://www.agentquery.com/publishing_ip.aspx

  5. #5
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    The "NY Big 5" you probably mean are the conglomerates -- AOL Time Warner, Pearson, Bertelsmann, Holtzbrinck, Viacom, News Corp, and Torstar. Each conglomerate owns several publishing houses. Most publishing houses have several imprints. I don't think there's a definitive list somewhere, if for no other reason than that the congloms sell things back and forth so the situation of who owns what does change regularly.

    No, it's not often that any book becomes a best seller, and it's even more infrequent that it would come from a small press.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin beatlesluv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toni1953 View Post
    I did see one a few years ago in WRiter's Market. I'll have to see if i still have that magazine at home.

    I think Random House, Simon and Shuster, Harper Collins, Penguin Putnam?
    Yep. Harper Collins = Harper's Bazaar as well.

    Penguin Group is big one.

    S&S for sure.

    Doubleday etc and so on

  7. #7
    A Free Range Aspergian johnrobison's Avatar
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    The big three, Random House, Penguin, and Harper Collins, (listed in order of size) control 75% of the US bestseller market between them. Each has many imprints and you sell to the imprint, not to the "company."

    So, for example, you could query half a dozen editors in different imprints of Random House. They will all bid agressively against one another, but there are some rules.

    1) All the big houses have divisions. For example, here are Random's divisions http://www.randomhouse.biz/ourpublishers/ If you scroll down their list, you'll see Crown - my division. You could query Doubleday and Crown because they are separate divisions, and each could offer a bid for your book. You can't query multiple editors within a division and have them bid against one another, though you can have them review the book and choose between them.

    2) If two companies are bidding, say Penguin and RH, bids can run free. If you have an auction situation, and the top bidders are from the same company (example: Doubleday and Crown) you have to stop the bidding and choose a winner per the policy of the major houses.

    If these houses are your target there are advantages to a long established agent in the City.
    John Elder Robison
    Blogging at: http://jerobison.blogspot.com/ Visit my author page at www.johnrobison.com, and my car business at www.robisonservice.com

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Toni1953's Avatar
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    Random House
    HarperCollins
    Simon & Schuster
    Penguin
    St. Martin’s
    Last edited by Toni1953; 02-08-2008 at 10:55 PM. Reason: cleanedup list
    Toni
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  9. #9
    Commonsensical Maverick scope's Avatar
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    The five major book publishing companies (the conglomerates) are:

    Harper Collins
    Penguin Putnam
    Random House
    Simon & Schuster
    Time Warner

    Not an exact estimate, but in total the five control between 300 and 400 publishing companies with different names and produce about one-half of all new books published each year (about 200,000).

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